Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Dear Elphie

An image of a fawn-colored greyhound on a paved park trail

Dear Elphie,

We brought you home in September of 2014, and even though there were some growing pains (you were nervous, and--let's be real--house-training took a long time!), it was one of the best decisions of my life. Soon enough, we were pretty inseparable. Walks in the park and around the neighborhood, watching TV while lounging (or cockroaching) on the big red couch in the family room, you sleeping in between my legs on my tiny twin bed. And I loved every moment we spent together.

Your presence did wonders for my mental health. You got me out on a walk every day. You made me laugh when I'd get home and you'd zoom around the room, bouncing on the couch. You were always ready for snuggles. When life got me down, you always brought me back up. I'll never forget that.

A few years ago, we tried Ohio for a little bit, but you missed Mom and Dad. I didn't blame you because you were always a social dog, always wanting people to pet you and talk to you and love you up. I do regret not being closer for almost three years, but I hope you knew you were the reason I came to visit so often. I'm glad you stayed with them so you could be around them almost all day every day and that you got to see so many of your friends on walks around the neighborhood. So many people loved you! I can't even count the number of times strangers called you "such a beautiful dog," and you sure did live for the attention. 

You lived for attention so much that sometimes when we stopped petting you, you'd paw us until we started again. Even when I moved to a queen bed, you made sure to be right up against me as we slept. If I moved away a bit, you'd move, too, until I was right on the edge and you and your long legs were taking up most of the mattress. 

I thought we had a few more years together. It was always my dream to get a little house with a little fenced-in yard for you to run around in. I'm sorry I couldn't make it happen, but I promise to make it happen for your future brother or sister. 

I've cried more in the past six weeks than I have in the rest of my life put together probably. And even though this hurts so much right now, I think that's good. I think it means the love was strong. I hope you felt that love every day of your life because I sure did.

The day that you broke your leg, I had an encounter with a deer on the disc golf course. She came closer and closer, taking her time to graze a bit before strolling away. Before I found out about your broken leg, I thought the encounter was a sign of good things to come. Maybe, looking back, it was a warning, one I should've understood because we always did joke about how the fawn color of your coat made you look like a little baby deer. Or a bad omen, because your broken leg led to your cancer diagnosis.

Today, I went disc golfing to try to take my mind off everything (it didn't work, of course), and I saw another deer (different course!). Much like the first, she was grazing and seemed relatively unconcerned by my presence. Maybe I've been steeping myself in too much Mary Oliver, or maybe I'm just looking for some order in a chaotic universe, but I liked to believe it means something good. I hope it means something good. I hope it means you're at peace.

I hope you enjoyed every second of your life with my family. I know we enjoyed every second with you, and I know the happy memories will last a lifetime.

Thank you for all the laughter and cuddles. Thank you for all the love, my very best friend.

Love you furever,


  1. Ah, Carrie. Brings tears to my eyes. Yes, we loved her a lot and miss her, too. I am glad she gave you comfort, friendship and love. She was a beautiful dog.